Sweet Relief

From clove- and vanilla-infused black tea to iced matcha with whipped cream, beverages get cold and creative for summer.

After June gloom lifts and a hot blanket settles on the San Fernando Valley, we start looking for ways to refresh and stay cool. Three local businesses— all of which opened doors in the past year and a half—have concocted cold, refreshing beverages that will all be available even after the autumnal equinox.


Adrienne Nicole Borlongan, a food scientist and cocktail pro, teams with attorney JP Lopez at Wanderlust Creamery. The duo’s Tarzana micro-dairy produces some of LA’s best ice cream in flavors inspired by their travels. Think pretzel + rubbraou (Iceland) and tiramisu (Italy). Wanderlust also serves signature beverages that incorporate nitrogen (like Guinness) resulting in frothy, cascading versions of cold brew coffee, matcha green tea, and even better, nitro Thai iced tea. This isn’t typical Thai iced tea. Wanderlust skips condensed milk altogether and infuses Ceylon black tea with clove, star anise and vanilla pods. Each judiciously sweetened drink is available with vanilla-flecked, sea salt whipped cream using premium Straus whole milk, which adds a welcome savory note and rises to the surface, yielding decorative streaks.

Wanderlust Creamery 18511 Ventura Blvd., Tarzana


McConnell’s, the Santa Barbara dairy and ice cream company that dates back to 1949, has big designs on LA. Owners Michael Palmer and chef/wife Eva Ein took over the company in 2012 and kicked off with a shop in downtown’s Grand Central Market. Next they debuted on Studio City’s Ventura Place, installing a vintage photo mural of the neighborhood. The shop doesn’t serve breakfast, but any kid (or former kid) will appreciate their “breakfast of champions.” This tantalizing milkshake is available by the pound (or the “½ pounder”) and combines luxurious, sweet cream ice cream with cornflake-steeped milk, crunchy cornflakes and a generous whipped cream cap.

McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams 12073 Ventura Pl., Studio City


To start 2015, Osaka natives Mitsu Kagei and Aya Maeda debuted RING Baked Tofu Donuts at the base of a Canoga Park office building near Westfield Topanga mall. RING’s springy donuts incorporate local Meiji tofu and rice flour, and come in untraditional flavors like Earl Grey and soy sauce. That creativity extends to RING’s iced beverages, which include chocolate, matcha, iced coffee, and when in season, cinnamon and pumpkin spice. Their iced matcha is especially good—with sweetened green tea powder, salted whipped cream and a sprinkling of extra matcha. Remember to mix it up to blend the flavors.

RING Baked Tofu Donuts 6800 Owensmouth Ave., Canoga Park